Happy Friday, writers and readers alike! Lately I have been thinking about how every single writer (and artist and musician and human being) I know seems to suffer from bouts of self-doubt, low esteem, and anxiety that can lead to creative blockage and existential crises. With this in mind, I developed a little checklist of helpful hints on battling these gremlins of doubt.
I am new to writing and publishing, and I can’t help but find it intimidating when so many of my friends make it look easy. How do I deal with that?
WRITE! Find your process, discover your voice, and understand productivity cycles, your genre preferences, and where you shine. When you are not writing, fill your well with inspiration and research places to send your work, and how to start sending it. Like anything else, you’ll discover that you have your own strengths and routines and it will start to feel second nature.
I feel like I’m running into blocks the size of planetoids. How do I get past this awful writer’s block?
WRITE! Let yourself play, explore, frolic in the spring-lush meadows of an unsullied page. Scribble in notebooks, type nonsense–just write like you don’t even care and you’ll be surprised how sneaky your subconscious mind can be about slipping you ideas that you can use to sabotage those blocks!
What do you suggest I do when I look around me and can’t help but feel like everybody is better at this writing and publishing game than I am?
WRITE! Practice makes awesome, and if you’re busy writing, you don’t have time to compare yourself to others. Writing is work but as with any craft, the more you practice it, the better you will get and the more confidence you will build in the process!
So I wrote a thing and sent it in and now I’m going nuts, waiting waiting waiting. What do I do when I’m anxious about pieces I’ve submitted and not heard back on?
WRITE! Waiting is just an inevitable part of the submissions process, should you choose to go that route. Knowing this, just dive into your next project. Writing occupies your mind and gives you a wonderful sense of accomplishment, plus you have another manuscript ready to send out when any other is grabbed up!
I got a rejection and I’m kind of freaking out. How do I handle that sort of hit?
WRITE! I’ve lost count of the rejections I’ve received (though I am sure I could go to my writer’s spreadsheet and tally them). Rejection is another inevitable part of the process and getting a rejection is a great way to work at professionalism, growing a thick skin, and knowing how to improve for next time. Writing through the frustration can do nothing but help you, ballast you, and prove to you that this is for real, that you are serious about producing quality writing and working towards your goals.
I got an acceptance and I’m kind of freaking out. How do you handle fear of success, odd as that sounds?
WRITE! Also, if required, EDIT! If you were able to land a piece somewhere, then it’s a good sign that you did the work and did it well. It’s also a sign that you might be onto something, and that maybe, just maybe you have more in you that the world will want to read. They can’t read it if you don’t write it, so you know what to do…sit your heinie down (after a celebration because, omg GO YOU!) and, you got it–WRITE.